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‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Debuts Album

Blake Lewis, pictured here with Jordin SparksThe hair. The smile. The voice. I admit I was not displeased with the results of last season’s , though I’ll further admit I wouldn’t have minded if had won over , either. The Idol winner just recently released her first album, but don’t let that cast a shadow over Blake’s news: he’s got one, too.

Break Anotha is already on its way up the charts, the result of careful planning and consideration from Lewis. After all, he’s been ready to release an album for years. The young runner-up arrived at the studio filled with ideas and musical samplers, resulting in an album that’s covered with his own personal stamp. Even the title, Audio Day Dream, is a long-standing idea from out of Blake’s own head. The album contains spirited licks, tuneful hits, and even a ballad (How Many Words) that Lewis says is his personal fave.

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American Idol’s Jordin Sparks Releases Debut Album

Jordin SparksJordin Sparks, the youngest winner to claim the crown, has just released her first album.  The production is a result of her last-season victory…but is Jordin now last season, as well?

The seventeen-year-old included lightweight, loving little ditties on her album which enhance her wholesome image (part of the reasons fans fell in love with her), but there are some different sounds included as well. “Young and in Love” is a bit of a deviation for Sparks, though most of the other songs remain just as tame as fans want them to be. All in all, no big surprises for Sparks’ debut album, which may or may not be a good thing.

Without a few raunchy, rollicking tracks, does Sparks have a shot at Kelly Clarkson-esque success? There’s got to be a pill somewhere in all that jam, and the new Sparks album just doesn’t seem to have it.

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American Idol:  Season 6 Finals—The Final Two

JordinBlakeThis proud Seattleite must first take an admittedly selfish moment to stick her tongue out at Randy, Simon and Paula.  For all the nasty comments they made about our city (even when many of the auditioners weren’t even from here)—knowing that both finalists came from the Seattle lot is worth bragging about.  So there!  Thank you for letting me vent…

It was a battle of style (Blake) vs. skill (Jordin) tonight…and once again, each contestant had to perform three songs:  something old (a season favorite), something new, something borrowed (a song written by the winners of the songwriting contest) but nothing blue.  Having won the coin toss, Blake decided to go first.  Was he smart to kick-off the show—or should he have chosen to end it?  Read on!

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American Idol: Season 6 Finals - Week Ten

AI Final 3No sleep for the remaining weary tonight.  We finally made it to the semi-finals, so it was three-for-three this evening:  three songs for each of the final three contestants.

One song was chosen by a judge, another by the producers and the final tune was up to the singer’s discretion.  Who brought their game faces tonight and who cracked under the increasing pressure?  Read on!

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American Idol’s Four Finalists

American Idol logo After the cast of ’s season 6 were whittled down dramatically from six to four, the stage looked a little emptier. And last night’s performances, at least in the judges’ eyes, didn’t do much to fill the empty space. Though Idol finalists , , , and sang two songs apiece, they got harsh reviews from that famous panel of three. Even Paula wasn’t waxing poetic and oozing positive ego-boosters at random, and Randy Jackson kept it real – hard core style. Though Blake changed up his disco tunes and added a modern flair, the judges had little that was good to say about his BeeGees renditions. Barry Gibb, the evening’s mentor, was extremely open to the ways the Idols changed his songs, which is more than can be said for most mentors of the season. All four competitors sat through at least one round of less-than-rave reviews from the critical judges, three people who obviously expected to be blown away at last night’s live show and ended up feeling a little let down. But what do you really want from BeeGees night? Today, the performances are old news. What everyone’s wondering is who will be left out of the final three, and who won’t.

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American Idol: Season 6 Finals - Week Nine

DescriptionWith only four singers left to fill a whole hour—it was time for the contestants to be tasked with two songs each.

But of course, they were limited to one songwriter’s library.  Luckily, Barry Gibb has a wealth of songs to choose from.  From his hits with The Bee Gees to the tunes he penned for other artists—there should be something out there the contestants could sing.  Right?

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American Idol: Season 6 Finals - Week Eight

Bon JoviCharity week’s over…so enough of the niceties. Two people will be going home this week—and with the sacrificial lamb (Sanjaya) already gone, there aren’t many left to choose from.

Jon Bon Jovi was on hand this week to help guide—and weed out—the singers.  As a thank you, the contestants did their best to avoid butchering his songs.  Who managed to rock it out and who just ended up sounding like bad medicine?  Read on!

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American Idol: Season 6 Finals - Week Seven

Idol Gives BackIt took six seasons for the producers of American Idol to finally realize that they had Oprah-esque potential to inspire acts of charity.  But better late then never, right?

Taking advantage of their large audience, AI and its sponsors reminded the viewers (and themselves) how superficial a singing contest really is.  In an attempt to lessen our collective guilt and help people around the world—the viewers were given the opportunity to donate to charity simply by doing what they’ve been doing for weeks:  voting.  For every call made tonight, $.10 would be donated to charity—up to $5 million in total.

So in keeping with tonight’s theme, the contestants were charged with performing ‘songs of inspiration’.  But were they successful in getting people to vote for them?  Read on!

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Simon Cowell’s Controversial Eye Rolling

Simon Cowell I guess I must have missed it during American Idol last night, but Simon Cowell rolled his eyes during the critique of Chris Richardson. Nothing unusual there, however, it happened right after Chris sent out a prayer to Virginia Tech. This morning, the Internet was buzzing with Cowell’s inappropriate behavior. In his defense, Simon said he was responding to the comment that Richardson said about singing nasal-y. He was discussing it with Paula and rolling his eyes, but the camera caught Simon in mid-eye roll when Richardson mentioned Virginia Tech. It begs the question: is Simon Cowell really that cold-hearted of a person? On Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, Seacrest said, “We’ve got to clear this up. There are these people on the Internet trying to make something of this story, and let’s just be honest, no human being would be that disrespectful to anybody involved in that awful tragedy.” Cowell responded, “No, of course not… The truth was that I had switched off at that point. I was ... saying to Paula, ‘What does he mean he was singing nasal-y on purpose?’ I didn’t understand what he was saying.” I’m willing to give Simon the benefit here—while he plays a meanie on TV, I don’t think he is that hard hearted.

(You can find all the American Idol 6 posts here.)

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American Idol: Season 6 Finals - Week Six

Martina McBrideUp until now, the contestants had only proven to be ho-hum when it came to performing genre music.  So needless to say—my expectations for tonight were very low.  But were the singers able to get a least a little down and country with the help of Martina McBride?  Read on!

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